Fuel prices soar to record high

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The Independent Online

Fuel prices reached a record high this weekend, and motorists were told to brace themselves for further increases. Diesel users were warned they would be hardest hit.

Prices have already hit the October 2005 high of 98.3p a litre. Industry sources said they would "definitely" break the £1 barrier over the summer as demand for oil from China and India continued to surge.

Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers Association, predicted that pressure on prices would continue for several months. "When do we see some respite from all this? At the end of August into September," he said. "Unless we have another violent hurricane season like last year."

The Association of British Drivers has called on the Government to introduce a sliding-scale fuel tax with the aim of stabilising the price of petrol and diesel at 70p-75p a litre.

"The UK can do little to influence global oil prices but the Chancellor still has considerable control over domestic duties," said Tony Vickers, the association's fuel-tax spokesman.

Speaking in New York on Friday, Gordon Brown called for increased oil production to put a cap on soaring prices.